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Autism: Detailed Uninteresting Conversations

01 May

One afternoon as I was working outside in my garden (both an enjoyable experience, and an uncomfortable one, since my garden is in the front of my house, near the street) some neighbours were walking by. They had their dog with them – a small Chihuahua – and my girls were racing her along the fence line; they love to do that!

July 13 008

Though I have discouraged it before (my girls become defensive, and might nip) they brought their dog up to the fence, to see if they might be okay to visit this time. They were not! I really wish people would stop coming right up to the fence. Sure my girls are cute, and it is fun to watch them running the length of the yard (likely to ensure no one comes in,) but they are not good visitors – and it seems they likely will not get over this, though I really try to discourage the behaviour.

Well, they did move their dog away (I wish my girls would visit with her – Gryff, my Pomeranian, loved to visit with her) and the husband asked me if we were having trouble with our vehicles.

At the time, we had two vehicles in our driveway – our 18 year old van, and an uninsured vehicle belonging to my SIL. Both had their hoods up, as my husband was charging the batteries.

“Is (your husband) having trouble with his vehicles,” the man asked. I tried to explain – “the car has been sitting idle all winter, and the van… well, the lights flash as if they are possessed.”

But my explanation wasn’t enough for him, and he kept trying to pull details out of me:

  • do they flash all the time?
  • Which lights flash?
  • If the headlights are turned off, do they still flash?
  • If the lights in the cab are switched off, do they still flash?

On and on he went, and as he spoke – though I realize in his own way he was trying to help – I became increasingly agitated.

A lot of that had to do with him trying to pull from me, and to share so many details verbally. I have a lot of trouble following conversations to begin with. Though I try to listen, my brain can’t seem to hold on to so much detail, and it becomes exhausting when I am forced to try. I am very much a visual person, and much more capable of following what is being ‘said’ if the words are written down. (Pictures are even better.)

Above that, this was not something I was interested in. The lights flashing? That has been an issue for at least 6 years. We have taken it to the mechanic, and I even asked my auto teacher when I was in the trades program at college. No one has given us an answer – and really, since it is my husband who looks after the vehicles, I have no desire to start worrying about that. (I have enough anxiety.)

Part of it was that he was trying to show his knowledge. People seem to do that. But again, I don’t care! It is a vehicle, and I have absolutely no interest in vehicles (unless they are undetectable, self-driving, flying cars that run off solar power, air, or water.) I won’t remember a thing he said (mainly because it was spoken, and not something I saw) and it felt like he was trying to make me feel stupid as he asked so many detailed questions about – again – something I don’t care about enough to pay much attention.

It flashes. That is enough.

So once more, an enjoyable afternoon spent in my garden turned difficult because… people! I wish we had bought a house with the large, sunny yard in the back.

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